Never one to save teams money for too long, Formula One is undergoing another major rules change this season. Having introduced the hybrid V6s in 2014, the teams are now going through a major overhaul of the aero formula to increase the speed of the cars. While the cars look new, it may actually make the racing worse.
Just because the blog has been quiet for the last couple of months doesn’t mean that we’re not still here at Lowdown HQ. Another Formula One World Championship season is about to begin and we’re not about to let it pass by without more news and analysis from F1 most insider outsiders.
With a new aero formula changing the look of Formula One, this season has a good chance for upheaval. A new World Drivers’ Champion is guaranteed as Nico Rosberg retired before turning a wheel with the #1 on his car. While there are two fewer seats on the grid this season, there are two new drivers replacing two retiring World Champions.
The question coming into the season is whether behind the scenes and rules changes at Mercedes will derail their run of three consecutive World Drivers’ and World Constructors’ Championships. Testing suggests that it’s possible but we aren’t sure how likely it is.
In one of the biggest surprises of a very topsy-turvy 2016 Formula One World Championship, the biggest twist hit us after the season concluded. World Drivers’ Champion Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from motorsport less than a week after clinching his championship. While Mercedes had a couple of days notice, it caught the F1 fraternity off guard.
So what happens next at Mercedes and how will that impact the grid going forward?
Like it or not, the Formula One World Drivers’ Champion is the driver who scores the most points over the course of the season. Sure, older championship formulae saw some low results eliminated so only the best finishes counted but that’s not the system we have now. You have to be consistently fast to be the WDC today.
While Lewis Hamilton may be the fastest driver in F1, he wasn’t always at or near the front of the field. Love him or hate him, that’s why he isn’t the champion for the third-straight year. The consistency, speed and luck of Nico Rosberg won him a well-earned first Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
This weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix was an absolute masterclass of driving. The safety car led 28 laps having led the field on five occasions during the race. Well, that and there was this Lewis Hamilton bloke who led the rest of the way on a daring no-stop strategy as rain, safety cars and red flags fell his way. While Hamilton did his part for his championships, so did Nico Rosberg who finished 2nd on the day despite not being well-regarded as a wet weather driver.
The plan for Lewis Hamilton is quite simple. All he can do at this point is win every race from here to the end of the season and hope for some luck to go his way. For Nico Rosberg, the counterattack is also quite simple. Finish first or second from now through Abu Dhabi and he wins his first World Drivers’ Championship. Both men did what they needed to in Austin, Texas, at the US GP but that means that it’s still advantage Rosberg.
There was a race this weekend but everyone’s focus was off the track. Sure, Lewis Hamilton lacked the mental fortitude to hold off teammate Nico Rosberg which allowed the German to close the World Drivers’ Championship to two points. However, the focus this weekend was on the silly season happenings that will affect Formula One going forward.